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Let’s refresh the story.
It was around the 8th of February, I was in awesome Cape Town, and after one of my first kite sessions I f***ed up my shoulder…
I didn’t actually know that at the time, so a few days after that I went to the cable park and finished killing my poor shoulder ligament. I went to the hospital and, yes, I had something called HAGL (Humeral Avulsion of the Glenohumeral Ligament). It took me 1 month to make the desicion to have surgery. I hit my sixth month (the amount of time you are supposed to spend on rehab before going back on the water) in Denmark, where I’d moved, and I had to wait one more month to go to Brazil and restart my kiting life.
Imagine that – for 8 months you wake up every single day telling yourself, “One day less to get back to the water”.
During those 8 months, almost every day you imagine how your first day on the water will be. I was doing rehab 3 times a week and, trust me, I hated the gym SO MUCH, I hated that rehab SO MUCH, I hated every single exercise! It felt like torture sometimes… Like reminding me that I was injured 3 times a week and that I had to put my head down, shut up and train. So 3 times a week I got really angry. I don’t really know why.
Of course, after every gym session, I came back home with a big smile and told myself, “Good job Julia, you made it!”.
Throughout all this I was kind of super motivated, I couldn’t wait to be back! Luckily this motivation kind of remained by my side through the 7 months following the surgery. Of course I had VERY dark moments. Moments where I asked myself a lot of questions. Especially if all this effort I was putting in was really worth it, not least because I did more than half of my rehab alone… I mean, with no physio by my side (but via my phone on Whatsapp).
I would say that there was even a moment where I wouldn’t have minded not going back in the water again, I wouldn’t have minded not ever kiting again. I just completely forgot what it was about and the sensations kitesurfing produced in me.
So after 17 hours of traveling and one day of rest in Brazil, the big day arrived. The day I’d been waiting for for the last 8 months of my life finally showed up. I was kind of nervous, feeling like when you go to high school or university for the first time but with extra excitement… Like that feeling when you meet that guy/girl again… That one you like so much.
I guess I was feeling like a kid, enjoying every sensation, every feeling. Listening to my heartbeats, watching the goosebumps rise on my skin, seeing my hands shaking…
I arrived at the lagoon and then decided that I was not quite ready. I needed at least a few minutes to take in what was going to happen. “Julia, you made it! You just went throught these freaking hard times, you overcame your own thoughts, all that pain, all the sleepless nights… you just made it, this is your time. ENJOY IT!”
I thought that after SUCH a long time locked in the cave (gym), I couldn’t miss the opportunity to film this moment that for me was going to be completely EPIC. Like a moment I will always remember in my life. You overcame the odyssey girl! Especially because before kitesurfing I was an athlete, doing 100m hurdles… then I had knee surgery and I never made it back. I guess this wasn’t far from my mind.
As you would normally do, I pumped my kite (Julia’s heartbeat going over 400), made my lines, placed my board near the shore… Yes Julia, everything is ready. No more rehab, no more shoulder pain, no more hateful days. I hooked the chicken loop, put on the leash… And then someone helped me launch my kite.
The kite’s in the air and a big sensation ran through my body, expressing itself as tears. Can you imagine? Crying because your kite is in the air! Or more to the point, because you can hold your own kite by yourself. The rest you can see on the video below, several more minutes of freaking out because I was able to kite… I went to the lagoon and was just kiting, crying and smiling.
I guess that feeling was PURE happiness, like I have probably never felt before. Now I have two weeks in front of me where I have to go super slow, short sessions, rest the day after a session, see how my shoulder feels…
Right now I don’t care about not doing huge freestyle tricks, just kiting. Just being able to be on the water again is the most amazing feeling ever.
Photo: Jerome Cloetens
I would like to thank all the people, family and sponsors that helped me during this period but I dont want to forget anyone… So, guys, you know who you are and you got a big room in my heart.
Check out my film below, and see you in the water (more news coming soon!)
Film/screenshots: Therese Taabbel
This is the video of my FIRST day in the water after 8 months waking up everyday telling myself "1 day less to go back to the water" (because of my shoulder injury and surgery) & training as hard as I could… !!!!!!!!!!! <3
Este es el vídeo de mi PRIMERA navegada después de 8 meses levantándome cada día pensando "un día menos para volver al agua" debido a mi lesión en el hombro (y operación)… <3 Y esto fue lo que pasó:
Thanks Therese Taabbel for filming <3
KiteMedical we made it <3 #BarcelóCanarias | Shrick | Best Kiteboarding | ION Spain | MARCA- Patrocinalos.com | #SacrificeIsTHESECRET | Ocean Sunglasses
Posted by Julia Castro on Wednesday, 14 October 2015